Friday, February 25, 2022 - 12 pm to 1:30 pm ET

Offering good mentorship is often an important hallmark of a successful career, be it in academia, industry or government. Yet mentoring can be a rather challenging task, especially when you are starting your career and trying to balance other responsibilities such as research, teaching and service.

The NISS Academic Affiliates Committee is very excited about being able to bring together four accomplished professors who have extensive experience of mentoring. We hope that it will be interesting to hear their perspectives and gain from their experience!

Resources for mentoring and inclusive education and communities

STEMM report (NASEM)

The report offers recommendations to encourage a shift away from a culture of ad hoc mentorship and toward a culture of intentional, inclusive, and effective mentorship in all institutional contexts. Among the recommendations:

Institutions should adopt an evidence-based, operational definition of mentorship in STEMM, such as the one used by the committee in its work: Mentorship is a professional, working alliance in which individuals work together over time to support the personal and professional growth, development, and success of the relational partners through the provision of career and psychosocial support.

Evidence-based approaches should be used to support mentorship. For example, institutional and departmental leadership should support the use of evidence-based mentoring practices by providing tested mentorship education curricula, resources, and tools, as well as time for professional development and mechanisms for feedback, improvement, and accountability. Mentors should learn about and use evidence-based tools and strategies – such as mentoring compacts, individual development plans, mentor maps, and mentoring accountability mechanisms – and mentees should also acquaint themselves with these tools and strategies.

Structured feedback mechanisms should be established and used to improve mentorship at all levels. For example, institutional and departmental leadership should regularly and systematically review formal mentorship programs to support the development of mentorship skills and student success and well-being. Program leaders should systematically review formal mentoring programs and use other structured feedback systems to make decisions such as who is allowed to serve as a mentor, when to intervene if relationships are not effective, and how to help mentors improve their skills.

All participants in mentoring systems should recognize and respond to identities in mentorship. Institutional leadership should intentionally create cultures of inclusive excellence, and they should support mentorship initiatives that recognize, respond to, value, and build upon the power of diversity. Mentors should learn about and make use of inclusive approaches to mentoring such as listening actively, working toward cultural responsiveness, and reflecting on how their biases and prejudices may affect mentees and mentoring relationships.

Mentoring systems should support multiple mentorship structures. Institutional leadership should support policies, procedures, and other infrastructure that allow mentees to engage in mentoring relationships with multiple individuals. Mentors should support their mentees’ efforts to build mentoring relationships with other individuals who can provide complementary or supplementary functions that support mentees’ progress and success. And mentees should consider developing a constellation of mentoring relationships, using tools such as mentoring maps and individual development plans.

Effective mentorship should be rewarded. Institutional leadership should reward and visibly recognize mentors for documented, effective, and inclusive mentorship. Department chairs should use promotion, tenure, and performance appraisal practices to reward effective mentorship.

Steps should be taken to mitigate negative mentoring experiences. Institutional leadership should appoint and make visible one or more neutral third parties to serve as a point of contact to identify, investigate, and address negative mentoring experiences. Mentors should recognize that negative mentoring experiences can occur even with well-intentioned mentors and be open to addressing unintended negative mentoring experiences with a neutral third party.

  • Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM report

Resources in TAS and JSDSE

ASA resources for mentoring programs and gatherings